Things I have learnt from reading the UK’s new National Security Strategy.

 

  • The entire document has extremely strong rhetoric concerning multilateral investigation, planning and execution of plans on all matters effecting National Security (including long term investment and international development to head problems off).

  • A significant amount of this work is being coordinated by the new Stabilisation Unit.

  • Currently 0.5% of UK Gross National Income goes into overseas development budget. This is due to increase to 0.7% in 5 years in line with UN plan s.

  • The UK is publicly calling for the US to close Guantanamo Bay at the first possible opportunity.

  • The UK may have agreed to continue with its nuclear capability in 2006 (with all the costs that entails) but we are unilaterally reducing the number of warheads by 20% this year.

  • The UK, as part of a global agreement, will dispose of all chemical weapons by 2012.

  • We are committed to the International Arms Trade Treaty.

  • The British Embassy in Afghanistan is our largest international diplomatic organisation.

  • We are pushing to expand the G8 to include India, Brazil, Germany, Japan and "permanent African representation" .

  • We have the 2nd highest defence budget in the world "in cash terms" .

  • We are spending only £100M on climate change research over next 5 years vs £2.9Bn in the last year alone on military spending – not including Iraq and Afghanistan !

  • We are pushing for global effective regulation of the worldwide energy market (now imagine an American politician saying that they are pro government business regulation).

  • The UK will spend £120M over five years on international anti-corruption efforts (but still not investigate BAE Systems).

  • The UK government is in the process of executing the Interception Modernisation Programme.

  • 100% of visas to enter the UK already require fingerprints .

  • All foreign nationals will have biometric ID cards in "late 2008". In the second half 2009 this will be expanded to become compulsory for all people, including UK citizens, working in "sensitive areas" such as airports.

  • The UK government is considered at the forefront of organisations responsible for security risk action planning. This includes:

  • When assessed for amount of human / infrastructure damage caused vs likelihood the three biggest threats to the UK are terrorism, flu pandemic and coastal flooding (and none of them are rated very highly).

  • Quote : "Across all those scenarios, we also need to recognise the extent to which success depends on early and continuing analysis and understanding. Intervention without sufficient preparation can be unsuccessful or even counter productive." – no guesses as to what or who that is referring to.

  • A national security forum is to be established in 2009 which will canvas public, private, third and academic parties as well conduct public interviews, polling and calls for submissions. Should be interesting.

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